BENGALURU (Reuters) – Gold inched up on Wednesday after hitting its lowest in five weeks in the previous session, buoyed as equities fell and the U.S. dollar eased from one-month highs following a tumble in crude oil prices.
A renewed slump in oil markets to seven-month lows put Asian investors on edge, and pushed down U.S. Treasury yields and the dollar index against a basket of currencies. “It’s mostly the dollar (supporting gold). It is a little bit weaker than yesterday’s closing,” said Yuichi Ikemizu, Tokyo branch manager at ICBC Standard Bank. Spot gold had risen 0.3 percent to $1,246.25 per ounce by 0423 GMT, after dropping as far as $1,241 in the previous session.
U.S. gold futures for August delivery climbed 0.3 percent to $1,247.5 per ounce. Gold is also being supported by a bout of short-covering following its recent weakness, said OCBC analyst Barnabas Gan. However, the possibility of another interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve this year is underpinning the bearish outlook for the yellow metal, he added.
Meanwhile, the outlook for inflation and the future of financial stability are emerging as dueling concerns at the heart of a debate at the U.S. central bank over how fast to proceed on future interest-rate hikes. Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan on Tuesday expressed doubt that short-term interest rates are very accommodative and said he wants to wait for more data to understand whether recent weak inflation readings are transitory as he suspects. Higher interest rates tend to boost the dollar and push bond yields up, pressuring gold prices by increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion. Spot gold may break resistance at $1,248 per ounce and rise towards the next resistance level at $1,251, as it has managed to stabilize around support at $1,243, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
“A lack of solid data this week globally won’t be helping gold’s direction in either way,” said OANDA analyst Jeffrey Halley. Russia’s central bank posted an increase in gold reserves in May, the fifth consecutive month of gains. Among other precious metals, silver rose 0.2 percent to $16.50 per ounce, remaining near six-week lows touched in the previous session. Platinum climbed 0.2 percent to $920.40 per ounce, while palladium advanced 0.3 percent to $870.60 per ounce.